Arran Weekend

8- 9th April 2017

A great weekend in Arran! Sandy, Chris, Graham, Tansy and I went. We stayed in the Brodick Hostel next to the Douglas Hotel. My first mistake was not realising that it was a dry hostel, however Tansy worker her magic and the owner said that we appeared to be a sensible group so could bring alcohol in!! And the room was interesting, small with 3 tier bunks on either side of the room. Luckily, I had a bottom bunk…..

Next issue was that we hadn’t thought about booking our cars onto the ferry. And by the time we realised we should book, the ferries were full for the weekend. However, amazing Tansy managed to get her car onto the 3.30 ferry on the Friday and the rest of use went on a later ferry as foot passengers. Tansy’s car was fine for the 5 of us during the weekend.

Saturday started out as a misty and cold day. Tansy took her car to the Glen Rosa road end and we started walking from there. We were all in good spirits despite the prosecco and whisky consumed the night before. We headed for Beinn Tarsuinn first via Beinn Nuis. Graham decided that we should go on ahead as he only needed to bag Beinn Tarsuinn and Cir Mhor.

Chris’ long legs took him well ahead of the rest of us. But we managed to keep him in sight. There were no views early on due to the low cloud. This was a tough ascent. The path was not great, quite wet and muddy at times. Then the cloud lifted near the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn and the views were magnificent for the rest of the day! Deciding where the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn was interesting and resulted in some debate. However we all agreed on a particular rock mass!

We then had a slow and careful descent down the north-east ridge to the Bealach an Fhir-bhogha. Then continued on the path towards Cir Mhor but took a left fork and around the hill to head towards Casteal Abhail first. The weather had improved greatly. Tansy and I arrived at Casteil Abhail to find Sandy and Chris making a valiant attempt to summit via a vertical rock face! It soon dawned on them that the much easier route to the summit was around the other side.

We then headed back towards Cir Mhor.

Another fine summit and time to admire the amazing views all around. There were a few people on the hill.

A steep descent into Glen Rosa and a warm and beautiful walk out along the river. Chris and Sandy met up with Graham on the walk out. Tansy and I took our time to savour the scenery. After a while we were so warm that we had to have the mandatory skinny dip, but the water was bloody cold so we didn’t linger. The walk took about 9 hours in total and we were happy bunnies.

We had a lovely meal in the Douglas Hotel. Tansy and I headed off to a ceilidh. Got the time wrong and we arrived as it was finishing. Hey ho, back to the hotel to listen to the resident musician and bop the night away. Chris, Sandy and Graham headed back to the hostel for some drams.

Next morning Sandy, Chris, Tansy and I headed to Port nam Balach and parked the car at the end of the tarred side road. Saved us at least a 15 minute walk each way. We followed the Corrie Burn into Corrie Lan. A lovely walk. Then up onto North Goatfell. We followed the ridge south to the summit of Goatfell.

Cloudy on the summit but great views again and another photo opportunity. We took the path down towards the Meall Breac and joined the path that we had come up at the Corrie Burn. We retraced our steps back to the car. The walk took us about 3.5 hours. Graham had already bagged this hill so he chose to spend the morning in Brodick. Found him in the golf club house watching the Aberdeen match.

Given how quickly we were back in Brodick, the guys managed to get an earlier ferry. Tansy and I stayed on toured the southern part of the island during the afternoon. Then discovered a folk night in a local hotel. Tansy managed to borrow a flute and joined in the session. There were numerous singers and musicians there and we were entertained to a great night of traditional music and song. A very late night so we decided against walking the next morning and both got early ferries home. Roll on our next trip to Arran!

Shona

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